Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

July 15, 2010

New Photo Assignment Time!

Filed under: Photo assignments,Travel — Karma @ 10:26 am
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It is time for another photo assignment over at Scott’s place!  I love photo assignments.  I love the creativity involved in coming up with the shots, and I love seeing what everyone comes up with.  This time, Scott has generously given us almost two months to get our assignment done, even longer if you consider the early hints he’s given us along the way, beginning with a sneak-peek when he recapped May’s exposure assignment.  The new assignment is a travel photo essay.  He didn’t want anyone to worry when they heard the word “essay” since our common enthusiasm is photography, so he followed up with a post explaining exactly what was meant by photo essay and has included some great links for inspiration on the assignment page.

When I first saw that it was going to be a travel photo essay, I lamented that I didn’t have any exotic travel locales in my foreseeable future.  The last time I actually boarded a plane was 5 years ago when we took the girls to Disney World.
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(Goofies at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival)
Since then, my travel has been limited to the New England/ New York area.  Not that I haven’t had some fun destinations and photo opportunities!

Back when Shrew was actively blogging, Jennifer, Renae and I joined her for a beautiful time in Newport, RI:

(L to R: Shrew, Renae, Jennifer)

Mason, NH has become a regular destination for Jennifer, Renae and I as well.  We try to go a couple times a year to a lovely little place hidden away in the woods called Pickity Place where you will enjoy a wonderful luncheon made from the freshest ingredients, many grown right there in their gardens.

(The gift shop at Pickity Place decorated for autumn)

New York City has also become a fairly regular travel destination for me.  For the last few years, a bus trip to NYC for the day has been arranged for a very reasonable price through my work.  I’ve taken advantage each year it has been offered.
Central Park, NYC

(Central Park as viewed from the top of Rockefeller Center)

Of course, Cape Cod, a mere two hours away, is fairly regular destination.  My mom lives there, so my sister, girls and I make regular visits.  Hubby and I have the anniversary trip as well.
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(Race Point Lighthouse, Provincetown, MA)

Mystic, CT was another fairly local destination I had the opportunity to enjoy recently.
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(Sailboat docked in Mystic Harbor)

I’ll be doing my travel assignment for Scott when I go on vacation with my family in August for our annual week at the beach in Maine.  When we were children, virtually every summer our parents took us on vacation to Maine.  For many years, we went to Hills Beach in Biddeford, Maine, a little known gem of a quiet vacation place.  When condos started taking over the cute little cottages we used to rent, my parents started looking for places on Cape Cod instead.  After many years of taking my family to Cape Cod for our summer vacation, I yearned to return to the place of my youth, and started searching the internet for the possibility of finding a cute little cottage on that beach, and I was lucky enough to find a tiny place with this for the view:

Unfortunately, this sweet little place has gotten uncomfortably small for my daughters who had to sleep in a tiny loft.  Fortunately, I found a place for this year’s vacation just a few houses away that was still within our vacation budget.  I can’t wait to see what I will gather for this assignment with my new camera!  I’m looking forward to seeing what all of you will come up with as well!

May 20, 2010

Mesmerizing Mystic, Part 2 – Sun, Sand and Surf

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 10:29 pm
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I’ve got blog fodder stacking up in my head and in my camera!  Mystic Part 2, What’s Blooming -mid May and Scott’s photo assignment are all waiting to be written up!  What should I post tonight? Hmmm… I’ll finish what I started first, I guess.  I’ve noticed that as I’ve gotten older I seem to start a lot of stuff but not necessarily finish it.  Some call it multi-tasking, I call it A.D. O. S! (attention deficit OOH SHINY!)  So lets get to Mystic Part 2 before I get distracted again…

After the aquarium on Saturday morning, we headed to Downtown Mystic to find a spot for lunch.  My lunch and the spot where we ate was unremarkable to me.  Again, I’ll leave the food details to Jennifer.

As we explored Downtown Mystic, we came across a fascinating drawbridge.
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I took this one as I walked across the bridge – there’s Jennifer at the left of the shot!  I didn’t notice you there when I first took the picture! Hi!  The bridge has these enormous counter-weights:
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When we saw those, we knew we wanted to be back when the bridge went up.  It was pretty cool to watch:
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After some browsing, window-shopping and sight-seeing downtown, my companions decided it was time for a snack! We went to a tiny little bakery and selected some treats.  Here’s mine, “the Mystic Cookie”:
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The Mystic Cookie was  jam-packed with all sorts of goodness: chocolate chips, oatmeal, macadamia nuts, walnuts and I can’t remember what else, but it was delicious!

After our snack in the sun on this lovely Saturday afternoon, we decided to find a place to enjoy the warmth of the day near the soothing sight, scent and sound of the ocean.  We found it at Stonington Point:

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Stonington Point claims to have views of three states: its own home Connecticut, plus Rhode Island and New York.  Not knowing the geography of the area all that well, I can’t be sure that I saw Long Island, NY, but I’m pretty sure that this is near-by Rhode Island that I captured with my zoom fully extended:
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After a lovely afternoon of lounging and reminiscing, we sought out a place for dinner. I forgot to bring my camera to dinner, but luckily, my sister did not.  After checking into a few different places, we found a spot but were told there would be a 30-40 minute wait.  They said we could get some drinks and sit “out back” while we waited for a table.  What a hardship this was! :

This wonderful sight was found at the Dogwatch Cafe in Stonington.  We thoroughly enjoyed our meals here.  I was charmed by the “mascot” of the place, so I asked Jennifer to take this picture:

On Sunday morning, we decided to take a ride to near-by Rhode Island in search of nice walk on the beach before we had to head home.  We ended up at Misquamicut State Beach.  (Can you believe they were charging for parking this early in the season? $14 for out-of-staters like us!) We took a breezy walk in the sand and sat back and soaked up some early-season sun.
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As we made our decision that it was time to go, I stopped to grab one more unusual shot:
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Lady bugs on the beach? Not a normal sight, but this one seems to be missing its head! I wondered about the circumstances that brought this funny little sight to Misquamicut.

After our visit to the beach, it was time to get some lunch and head home.  I feel very lucky to have enjoyed this beautiful weekend with two great people!

May 18, 2010

Mesmerizing Mystic – Part 1, the critters

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 4:54 pm
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This past weekend, I was lucky enough to have a weekend away with two of my favorite people:

(Left to right: Renae, me, Jennifer; taken by Jennifer with her self-timer)

A couple of years ago, the three of us were lucky enough to have a little getaway with Rosanne from Shrew’s Daily Shutters, along with Dawn of Music Maven (two ladies whom I hope will be back to blogging some day!) to Newport, RI.  We had an awesome time.  After that, I started thinking, these little getaways should be a part of my life more often.  Jennifer and I have been friends with Renae since we were very young children, and we consider her our sister-from-another-mother yet, the three of us had never gone on a trip, just the three of us.  This past weekend, that changed.  For our getaway, we chose Mystic CT, home of the famous:
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Our weekend began on Friday afternoon with a visit to the quaint Olde Mistick Village.  We browsed the shops and made purchases for the kiddos back home.  However, the subjects that charmed me for photo-taking this day were:
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Duck…..
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Duck…..
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Goose!

That evening, we headed over to Mohegan Sun.  We had dinner there at a place called SolToro Tequila Grill.  I think that Jennifer will probably have a write-up about our food, so I won’t get into much here.  I will add a link to her post when it is available.

Saturday morning brought a visit to Mystic Aquarium.  The aquarium had many opportunities to be thinking about Scott’s latest challenge, but I regretfully did not get the chance to brush-up with my camera manual before our trip.  I did do some switching of scene setting in my attempts to capture some great animal and fish shots, but lighting conditions and fast-moving creatures challenged me!  I deleted tons of blurry fish pics, and most of my shots of the sea lion show were disappointing.  However, I did get some keepers with which I was happy:
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Sea lion
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Beluga Whale
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I liked the “expression” on the face of the penguin to the left
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Big ol’ bullfrog
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Clown fish

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Sea horse – they really aren’t that cute of a creature up close, are they?

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This is one of my less blurry pictures taken indoors, in low light with a fast moving subject.  I’d love to learn how to improve this sort of shot.  I believe I took it on one of my quick-shutter settings, in the attempt to capture the ray itself, but that’s obviously not all this shot needs.  Feel free to leave advice in the comments.

Here’s one more shot that I took, especially for Tracy:
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If you are not familiar with Tracy’s blog, you should go check it out.  Tracy takes many beautiful animal and plant photos, and when she can, she always posts the Latin or scientific name of the creature.  My sister pointed out while we were at the aquarium, that the humorous folks who work there thought to include the “Latin” name of the “Newexhibit fish” – exhibitus modernicus  (in case you can’t make it out in that photo).

I’ve still got lots more to write and show about our trip to Mystic – enough to share in another post!  Part 2 will be posted very soon!